Are regulators finding their mojo?


In this month’s Open Markets Outlook: Competition regulators seem to be finding the grit to take on monopoly power. Is it enough?

  • The new chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Lord Tyrie, has announced his preliminary plans for the reform of competition in the UK
  • Plans include the introduction of a new “consumer interest duty”, allowing the CMA to move faster using “interim measures”, reforming market powers and requiring mandatory merger control filings
  • These represent very welcome moves. Are they enough?
  • In a recent RADIX paper, Tim Cowen puts forward more radical ideas
  • Across the pond in the US, Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee and the Antitrust Subcommittee have announced that they will hold a series of hearings “on the rise of market power online”
  • US prosecutors are interested in looking into Apple and Google over antitrust complaints. The Federal Trade Commission would also like to question Amazon and Facebook
  • Anti-trust investigations seem to have brought together Left and Right in Congress
  • The proposed merger between the last American companies capable of printing high volume magazines has been blocked by the antitrust team at the US Department of Justice.
  • Oklahoma City Council has passed a 180-day moratorium on “small box discount stores” in one zip code.

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